What Students Really Say About Farmington
What is the Psychology major like at Farmington?
The Psychology major here is really fun. And I’m minoring in nutrition. The professors are really great and the Psych classes are really small and intimate. And that’s a good thing because most Psych majors like to talk a lot [laughs]. The small classes allow us to talk about different issues and students are willing to share personal stories and experiences. And the professors do, too — it’s really great. You get a lot out of it.
Did you come in as a Psychology major?
Yes, I did. I knew from a pretty young age that’s what I wanted to do.
How did you come to choose Psychology as a major?
Well, I’ve always liked listening to other people and I think I’m a pretty good listener. And my Gram is a foster care provider and we’d get psychologists coming in to the house to help out the kids, and I thought, “Yes! This is what I want to do!” because it really helps the kids a lot. So, I had a good understanding of the Psychology field before I ever arrived at UMF.
What is a strength of the Psychology program at UMF?
I think a strength of the program is the professors — definitely. You can walk into anyone’s office, even the secretary’s, and everyone in the department is so accepting and willing to chat. And so eager to help you out.
Do you have any favorite professors in Psychology?
Yeah, I really like Bert Jacobs [Professor of Psychology] a lot, he’s the department chair, and also Susan Anzivino [Professor of Psychology]. She’s really a sweetheart, she’s so nice. But they’re all so nice.
Have you taken any classes here that have changed your view or challenged you to think differently?
Actually, yes. I just took a course in Men’s Health, and I thought it was really interesting. There were only three or four women in the class and so I go to hear the complete opposite of what I had taken in my Women’s Health class the previous semester. It was so cool. And the class dynamics were completely different — it was just fascinating. I would definitely recommend those classes to everyone.
Have you done an internship or are you looking to do anything like that?
It’s really difficult to get into, but I’m looking to work with a program here in Maine called New Horizons for Young Women. It’s an outdoor therapy program to help at-risk and troubled teen girls. The girls go hiking and camping canoeing, snow-shoeing and skiing. It’s an outdoor therapeutic camp based in Bangor, but with actual camps all over the state. The program has a team of psychologists on site and on staff, who work with the girls on a whole range of issues. I’m looking to get an internship to work there. It’s exactly what I want to do.
Sounds exciting, how did you find out about it?
I found out about it through a community service fair they had here on campus. I was going through the UMF Student Center one day, checking out different jobs, and they had a table and there was a woman there in hiking boots and everything and I asked, “What do you do?” And she said me, “Well, I’m a therapist.” I thought it was such a different approach to helping people so I just had to know more about it. I found out they teach the girls things like team building, raising self-esteem, eating disorders, motivational issues, drug and alcohol issues, and more. It’s for girls aged 13 to 18.
Have you done a Service-Learning type project here?
For my Intro to Social Services class we went to Boston and worked with some inner-city Head Start and WIC [Women, Infants and Children] programs. The whole class helped administer the programs there and we learned a lot about social service providing — it’s a ton of work.
I also did some volunteer projects right on campus, like the Sweatshop-Free program. I worked on the Sweat-Free fashion show we held here on campus last semester. And it was a lot of fun. I was really involved with that. [The Sweat-Free Fashion show is an annual event at Farmington designed to draw attention to clothing manufacturing sweatshops and to raise awareness of alternatives to clothes produced at sweatshops around the world. UMF is committed to being a sweatshop-free campus.]
Why would someone want to be a Psychology major?
You get to meet people of all different backgrounds, religions, from all over the place. And you listen. You learn a lot about other people and you also learn a lot about yourself. Myself, I like to hear peoples’ stories and you really learn a lot from other people.
What can you do with a degree in Psychology?
Surprisingly, you can do a lot of things — things you may not have thought you could do. Sure, you can do therapy but you can also work in business in marketing and advertising, in schools of course, in government settings. I even know one friend, a recent UMF graduate, who’s working as a prison psychologist. In addition to being a therapist, you can work in a wide, wide range of helping fields and business fields. For instance, in marketing you need know how to listen and understand people, in order to better promote your products and services. Psychology is extremely valuable in that field.
What has been one of your favorite classes?
It’s not a Psychology class, but Human Sexuality was a really good class [laughs]. It was a health class I took with Lea Bryant [Assistant Professor of Health Education]. The mix of people we had in that class was fantastic. It made the class amazing. Lea told me after class one day that she never had a class that was so open and comfortable talking about all kinds of issues with each other. I took that class in my sophomore year and it may be my most memorable class at UMF.
Have you done any classroom projects or research projects that have stood out?
In my Chemistry class with David Heroux [Assistant Professor of Chemistry] I had to relate chemistry to my major. It was really challenging because a lot of kids in my class were science majors and here I am the little Psychology major. So I chose to do a research presentation on the chemicals of the brain. I did it on neurepinephrine, seratonin, and dopamine, and how those chemicals in the brain relate to depression, Parkinson’s Disease, and other mental diseases. I explained chemical reactions in the brain.
So, what brought you to UMF?
Well one of my friend’s dads was from Maine and when we I looking at different schools I told him I was thinking of going to school in Maine. Now, I used to come up to Rangeley Maine in the summertime as a kid, so I already knew the area and I liked Maine a lot. Anyway, my friend’s dad said, “Well, if you’re looking at schools in Maine you better check out Farmington because it’s the best school in Maine” [laughs] And you know, it really was the best one I’d seen. Later, I went to a college fair in Massachusetts and talked with Jim Collins [ Senior Associate, Director of Admission] and he just chatted my ear off, and of course once I get started talking we just talked and talked.
Did you visit the campus before you enrolled?
Yes, I really liked when we came to visit. I had been to some other colleges. I visited some much bigger universities and I was just so overwhelmed. And when I came here it was so small and intimate and everything. I just loved it. Everyone seemed to know who everyone was, it was just … nice. And I really liked the look of the campus and the town, the old Victorian houses and how the Psychology department is located in a beautiful old New England church building. I also liked how Farmington is a lot more community-oriented. What I mean is that it’s located right in town and there’s so much town involvement with the school, the two are so intermingled. I really like that. I also like that it’s so relaxed here — everyone likes everyone here.
What do you do for fun here?
Oh my gosh, lots of stuff! Both my roommates are really outdoorsy and they’ve gotten me into it. I had never gone skiing or real hiking. I remember the first time they took me to Tumbledown Mountain here, it was quite and experience for me [laughs]. I absolutely loved it. I never realized that once you get to the top of a mountain how amazing it is. So now we do a lot of outdoors stuff — hiking and mountain biking, canoeing, and even skiing. I learned how to ski this winter.
Did you ever think you’d be doing that?
No! [laughs] It’s funny, I remember the first time I saw Titcomb Mountain here in Farmington and I told my friends, “That’s so BIG!” And they said, “Oh, you haven’t even seen a big mountain yet — that’s just a bump!” I’m now known as being the best “snowplower” of my friends [laughs]. I’ve also been up to Sugarloaf. We went ice skating there at the Outdoor Center and that was just so much fun.
How would you describe UMF to someone from your former high school in Amesbury?
I actually work at the Admissions Office here at UMF, so I’ve thought about that a lot. I’d say it’s like being in the really pretty part of Amesbury but with Maudslay State Park all around you — Maudslay is a State Park in Newburyport, Massachusetts and it’s just gorgeous. It looks a lot like the Farmington area.
I’d also say Farmington is the most accepting campus I’ve ever visited — by far. It sounds funny, but UMF likes anyone! [laughs] It’s true. Also, it’s so different from high school. There aren’t any cliques here like there were in high school or like there were at the other colleges I visited. Farmington is definitely less like high school than some other universities I’ve been to. High schools can be so catty, but Farmington is completely not that. I would definitely emphasize that.
Have you studied abroad?
I haven’t yet, but now that my course load is freed up a bit I’m trying to plan it. One of my friends at UMF went to study in Costa Rica last winter, and so I’m hoping to get into that same class. It’s not for an entire semester and I’d love to do it. And I was told you make so many close friends when you do a study abroad experience. I really want to do it.
For academic advice who do you talk to?
I go to my faculty advisor, Brian Kaufman [Associate Professor of Psychology]. But the more people you know here the more you can just go to any of your professors for advice. I’ve talked with Dan Seabold [Professor of Psychology]a lot about different professions, too.
What do you see yourself doing after you graduate?
Hopefully, I’ll be doing that internship I mentioned or working in a group home for teenaged girls. That’s what I’m drawn to. I also want to go for my Master’s degree in Counseling.
Would you recommend UMF to your brother, sister or friend?
Yeah, I would — especially my sister. She’s having a hard time fitting in at the college she’s attending now and I keep telling her, “Come to UMF, you’d love it.” She’s in her sophomore year at a college in Massachusetts and she’s having a difficult time of it. But here, there are just so many people she could talk to and relate to. She would do so well here. She’s visited me here at Farmington and likes it here a lot. This place would be so good for her. I’ve got my fingers crossed!
- Kristen Bisson
From Waterville, Maine
- Emily Baer
Double major: Art and English
From Brunswick, Maine
- Andrew Thompson
Double major: Music and Art
From Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Shawn Rogers
From Dover, New Hampshire
- Lesley Kittredge
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Kristen Simoneau
Community Health Education - School Health Education
From Jay, Maine
- Shane Koski
From Auburn, Maine
- Renee Meserve
Early Childhood Education
From Westbrook, Maine
- Casey Myers
Early Childhood Special Education
From Winooski, Vermont
- Craig Nadeau
From Fairfield, Maine
- Michaela Hitchcock
Environmental Planning & Policy
From Springfield, Vermont
- Erica Austin
Double major: History and Geography
From Turner, Maine
- Alison Gerrish
International & Global Studies
From Portland, Maine
- Lisa Kittredge
Liberal Arts Undecided
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Nate Burns
Double major: Music and Philosophy / Religion
From Wayne, Maine
- Genesis Burke
From Amesbury, Massachusetts
- Mary Beth Kirby
From Farmington, Maine
- Joel Hatfield
Secondary / Middle Education
From Palermo, Maine
- Courtney Church
Sociology / Anthropology
From Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Emily Langton
From Manchester, New Hampshire